Two pieces of legislation have put the vetting requirements for teachers on a statutory basis.
Under the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016, the National Vetting Bureau (the Bureau) has been established and has replaced the Garda Central Vetting Unit. The Bureau is responsible for issuing vetting disclosures under the Act’s statutory arrangements.
The Teaching Council Acts 2001 to 2015 established the Teaching Council as the relevant statutory organisation for the vetting of teachers in Ireland.
Section 12 of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 requires that a school authority must not, other than where certain exemptions apply (which are set out at section 5.3 of Department of Education and Skills Circular 0031/2016 ), commence the employment (whether under contract of employment or otherwise) of an employee to undertake relevant work or activities before the school authority receives a vetting disclosure from the Bureau in respect of that person. This requirement applies in respect of all types of appointment of any duration including full time, part time and substitute positions. Failure by an employer to comply with this statutory requirement will be a criminal offence.
Section 7(2)(ba) of the Teaching Council Acts, 2001 to 2015 allows the Teaching Council to obtain or receive vetting disclosures for the purpose of its role as a relevant organisation, i.e., for registration or Fitness to Teach purposes, or for the purpose of its role as a relevant organisation representing another relevant organisation, i.e., school employers, for the purposes of the vetting procedures under the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016.